“The Darkened Land is epic fantasy at its very best...
If you love Tolkien, you won't want to miss this premier novel by Larry Paris”
-- T.E. Bradford, Author of the Divide Series
As the forest closed in, a sound in the distance froze them in their tracks. It was the low guttural call of the wolf leader calling the pack to the hunt. Lachlaniel and Ewald ran. The call of the leader made their blood run cold and summoned their last reserves of strength. They couldn’t go far. If there were no shelter just ahead…. Then, ahead of them, a light loomed. They ran with renewed vigor; the sounds of the pack became distinct a short distance behind them. The light ahead was strange, not at all like the light from Kesniel’s stone. As they drew closer, they could see the fork in the road and the Black Tower beyond. So little light reflected from its surface that its features could not be discerned. In spite of this, it gave the appearance of a welcome shelter set down at the meeting of the ways in a land where there was no real shelter. The light of a fire within flickered welcomingly from the doorway. There was a man at the threshold. He held some strange object from which the light came. They were in agony as they crossed the last yards. The wolves rapidly closed the gap between them. The man was shouting.
“Hurry, hurry! Don’t look back! You can make it!”
He stood by the open door of the tower, urging them onward. The wolves were incredibly close now. Ewald caught the sound of the swiftest as it made a final leap toward him. He swung his axe wildly and blindly behind him striking the wolf in the neck with the head of the axe instead of the blade. The wolf was momentarily stunned, but the others continued to close the ground. Lachlaniel had already crossed the threshold into the tower. The man with the light held the door ready to slam shut as soon as Ewald was safe. The next closest wolf leaped as Ewald crossed the threshold and the door closed with a whump. There was a tremendous thud, and the oak planks of the door moved visibly with the impact. Outside, the wolves circled and howled with anger at losing their prey. Inside, Lachlaniel and Ewald lay sprawled on the floor, breathing too heavily to speak. They were too weary to move, but they were safe – inside the Black Tower.